While the term Machine Learning has dramatically increased in popularity recently, it is a key component of Artificial Intelligence that has actually been around since the late 1950s. Understanding what it is and how it can be found all around us is simple (and sometimes even entertaining).

Stripping away the hype, Machine Learning refers to automatically applying statistical analysis to large amounts of data, and executing commands based on the results. This isn’t all that new by itself, but what is new is the unprecedented complexity and sophistication of the analysis and the commands that can be executed. The foundation for this growth is cheaper processing, cheaper storage, and a continuously expanding cloud-based infrastructure.

While some Machine Learning applications are still the stuff of science fiction, many are already familiar to us. Here are 25 examples of Machine Learning seen in the real world that we’ll be discussing in the "Everyday Encounter" series of blog posts that follow:

In the News

1. Finding pancreatic cancer based on internet search patterns

Finding pancreatic cancer based on internet search patterns


2. Predicting the 2013 Cholera Outbreak in Cuba

Predicting the 2013 Cholera Outbreak in Cuba


3. Tay (Microsoft @TayandYou Twitter Bot)

Tay the Twitter Bot


On the Web

4. Google Creations ("Auto Awesome")

Google Creations ("Auto Awesome")


5. People you may know on LinkedIn

People you may know on LinkedIn


6. Amazon's recommendation engine



In Your Home

7. Netflix Recommendations 

Netflix Recommendations


8. Amazon Echo 

Amazon Echo


9. Nest Thermostat

Nest Thermostat


10. Camio surveillance cameras

Camio surveillance cameras


At the Office

11. Spam Detection 

Spam Detection


12. Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

 Optical Character Recognition


13. Customer Segmentation (Personas)

Customer Segmentation (Personas)


14. Sentiment Analysis

 Sentiment Analysis


15. Unlocking devices with a fingerprint

 unlocking devices with a fingerprint


On the Road

16. Traffic predictions

Traffic Predictions


17. Self-driving cars

Self Driving Cars


18. License plate recognition at tolls

 License plate recognition at tolls


19. Road sign recognition 

 Road side recognition


At the Doctor’s Office

20. Identifying irregular heart beat patterns

 Identifying Irregular Heart Beat Patterns


21. Predicting patients likely to be re-admitted

Predicting patients likely to be re-admitted


22. Google Flu Trends

Google Flu Trends


At the Bank

23. Mobile check deposits

 Mobile Check Deposits


24. Fraud detection

Fraud Detection


25. Calculating the market value of a House

 Calculating the market value of a house